Thanks, Netflix: Stranger Things 4 volume 2 image ruins cliffhanger ending

Joyce Byers talks on the phone to an unknown individual in Stranger Things season 4
Netflix has jumped the gun with one of its new Stranger Things season 4 images. (Image credit: Netflix)

Full spoilers follow for Stranger Things season 4 volume 1. You've been warned.

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 is nearly here – but, in something of a faux pas move on Netflix's part, a new image has spoiled the outcome of one of volume 1's cliffhanger endings.

Released alongside five other first-look images for Stranger Things season 4 volume 2, the photograph ruins how one particular plot point plays out post-episode 7. And, understandably, some fans aren't happy that the streaming giant spoiled the reveal ahead of time.

We're about to dive into full spoiler territory for Stranger Things season 4 volume 1's ending. Turn back now or you'll have the surprise ruined for you.

Joe Quinn's Eddie Munson mimics a demonic creature in Stranger Things season 4

Don't scroll passed this image of Eddie if you're not caught up with the show! (Image credit: Netflix)

Still with us? Then you've clearly watched the entirety of Stranger Things season 4 volume 1. If you haven't, why are you still here?!

Anyway, onto the image in question. One of the stills, released ahead of the wildly popular Netflix series' return, shows the Hawkins gang – comprising Steve, Dustin, Max, and other key characters – huddle around a giant book (like the gang's Dungeons and Dragons manual) in the trailer of Eddie Munson's father. Look to the left of the image and you'll spot a familiar face:

The Hawkins gang make a plan to stop Vecna in Stranger Things season 4 volume 2

Spoiler: Nancy is alive and well after her run-in with Vecna. (Image credit: Netflix)

Yep, that's Nancy Wheeler, alive and well following her latest ordeal in the Upside Down. Fans will remember that, in the volume 1 finale, Nancy had been trapped in this spooky and dangerous alternate dimension by Vecna, aka season 4's main villain. The last we saw of Nancy, she was being held captive by Vecna – in the same way that Max was in episode 4 – during a lengthy exposition dump-style scene where viewers learned of Vecna's true origins.

Back in the real world, Nancy was paralyzed, her eyes rolled back into her head – again, in the same way Max was during episode 4's events, and Steve was trying (and failing) to wake Nancy up. 

Given that this story thread wasn't resolved before episode 7 (aka the volume 1 finale) ended, fans were left in the lurch over Nancy's fate. However, with the release of this particular image, Netflix has removed any semblance of suspense surrounding the outcome of Nancy's encounter with Vecna. Clearly, if she's awake and helping the group come with a plan in the real world, she'll have escaped Vecna's clutches. 

Sure, we don't know how she does so, but it's still an oversight on Netflix's part to spoil the surprise ahead of volume 2's arrival.

Unsurprisingly, some fans aren't exactly happy with Netflix's decision to release the image. Multiple fans have taken to Twitter and Reddit to complain about the revelation, though there were others happy to learn that Nancy survives ahead of time.

Still, it seems like a strange move on Netflix's part. It's an odd decision to leave Nancy's fate up in the air, only to ruin it for people who care about the show and its characters. It would have made sense to resolve this plot point before the end of episode 7, thus alleviating the potential backlash that some viewers would have over her survival.

Of course, this doesn't mean that Nancy is safe for the rest of season 4. The Duffer brothers have suggested that audiences are right to be concerned about the show's major players, even going so far as to tease the possibility that one or more of them will die. Get those tissues at the ready, fellow Stranger Things fans.

For more Stranger Things-based content, read about the 11 things we want to see in season 4 volume 2. Alternatively, check out why we think Netflix should switch up its release formula for Stranger Things' fifth and final season.

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 arrives exclusively on Netflix on Friday, July 1.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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